A day after writing an editorial extolling a decision of Governor Stuart Jack, today we write one critical of another of his decisions.
Last Friday, Government Information Services sent out a press release from the Governor’s Office. The release told readers that the UK’s minister responsible for the overseas territories, Chris Bryant, had written a commentary piece in the on-line Guardian on the topic of tax havens – a term he used five times in the article – and sustainability.
The governor’s statement said the article should be of particular interest to the people of the Cayman Islands and gave a link to access the webpage.
The press release also suggested that readers might want to see the governor’s blog comments on Mr. Bryant’s article, and gave a link to that webpage as well.
Reading between the lines, both writings basically expressed the need for the UK’s overseas territories to impose direct taxation.
Mr. Bryant stated the overseas territories needed a strategy for ‘reining in their public expenditure and/or raising revenue to start paying off their debts’. He finished off his article stating the UK is right to put restrictions on overseas territories’ ability to borrow and that if it wants to promote action on regulating tax havens worldwide, Britain must be in a position to lead by example.
Oh, the irony.
Here is the UK – which is facing its own huge deficit and debt problem – giving us lectures on ‘reining in expenditures’ and the governor uses Cayman’s public funds through GIS to disseminate the opinions of a UK politician and to flog his blog. Even if the governor is not getting enough traffic on his blog, we don’t feel he should use Cayman’s public funds to do so.
If the UK truly wants to lead by example, it can start by cleaning up its own house and doing its part to rein in expenditure when it comes to Cayman’s budget.